Venice 2013 – Out of Competition
Captain Harlock is the one man standing between the corrupt Gaia Coalition and their quest for complete intergalactic rule. Seeking revenge against those who wronged both mankind and himself, the mysterious space pirate roams the universe in his battle cruiser, the Arcadia, defiantly attacking and pillaging enemy ships. Gaia Fleet leader Ezra sends his younger brother, Logan/Yama, to infiltrate the Arcadia and assassinate Harlock. But Logan/Yama will soon discover that things are not always what they seem, and that legends are born for a reason. Harlock pushes his loyal crew forward in his death-defying mission to undo the “Nodes of Time” and reverse the Earth to an age when still inhabited by humans. It is the year 2977 and 500 billion displaced humans long to return to the planet they still refer to as home. The rebellious Captain Harlock and his trusted crew are mankind’s only hope of one day righting the Coalition’s wrongs.
Based on the original comic series by legendary manga artist Leiji Matsumoto.
The new film by Shinji Aramaki, the master anime director of APPLESEED.
Featuring state-of-the-art CG motion capture animation.
“Unleash the dark matter!” “Activate the Jovian accelerator!” “Prepare to enter the IN-skip!” The dialogue in Japanese animated epic “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” is an absolute riot of geeky imperatives, very fitting for a film that’s all about urgency, pseudo-science and speed. Helmed by Shinji Aramaki (“Appleseed”), this is a glorious marshaling of state-of-the-art technical expertise that boasts topnotch stereoscopy… While the pic revives the situation and main characters from the manga by Leiji Matsumoto, which inspired Toei Animation’s TV series (known as “Albator” in Francophone territories, where it was a huge cult hit), the emphasis of this update is much more on post-millennial gloom and environmental anxieties, rather than the original’s mix of sci-fi swashbuckling and anti-Fascist subtext. Taking a leaf out of the “Star Trek” franchise’s playbook (the two shows are not dissimilar in setup), helmer Aramaki and screenwriters Harutoshi Fukui and Kiyoto Takeuchi have cannily rebooted the basic concept to suit the 2013 zeitgeist…
— Leslie Felperin, VARIETY
Popularized in a television series in the late 1970s, Leiji Matsumoto's sci-fi manga classic about a freedom- fighting galaxy outlaw gets a lavish big-screen reboot… Power up the dimensional oscillator, crank the kaleido converger matrix, prepare the jovian accelerator, and if we must, release the dark matter as we switch to In-Skip jump mode and undo the nodes of time. If that cheesy sci-fi babble means anything at all to you, or at least stokes your curiosity, chances are you’re among the manga fans and gamers who will get a kick out of Harlock: Space Pirate… Impressive production values and pedal-to-the metal action should get hardcore geeks on board… A slim-hipped taciturn type with an eye-patch and a cool thatch of facial scarring, Harlock appears to have his own personal wind machine to work his cape and flowing rock-star hair. His ship, the Arcadia, is an impressive pirate vessel with a death’s head prow and a tattered Jolly Roger, billowing clouds of black smoke as it plows through space… Director Shinji Aramaki sticks mainly to a breakneck pace, working with co-editor Ryuji Miyamura to navigate an unusually high number of cuts per scene for an animated feature… The rich detail of Hiroaki Ueno’s production design, and Tetsuya Takahashi’s bombastic symphonic score help make this all in all a slick package.
— David Rooney, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER